I love my neighborhood (Lincoln Terrace) and the people in it. It is a historic preservation district with wonderful old homes. A couple of years ago, we started a monthly ladies Bunco group. After a year, we abandoned the Bunco playing because it was getting in the way of conversation. We kept the monthly dinners and made the activity “Hostess Choice.” When I hosted recently, I persuaded Michael to take fun photos of each gal, posed in front of a backdrop, wearing anything from angel wings to a 1940’s satin robe. We cheered each other on, laughed like crazy, and made fabulous memories and photos at the same time. As the evening wore on, we got more and more creative with the props and poses. What a hoot! Rather than having a sit-down meal, I made little tastes of lots of different things (thanks Deloris, Diane, Suzi, Ginny, Sue and Bob for your assistance in the kitchen!) These are my quick snapshots. Michael’s glamorous pictures will be burned to CD for each lady to enjoy.
You can’t go wrong with Fun Bites! Rather than arrange them on a platter, I placed each little skewer in its own container, making it easy to grab one.
Truly, the roasted pepper slices on these Fun Bites are the key to their fabulousness. I showed Deloris the drill, plopped her down in the sunroom, and she cranked out piles of these yummies. (Don’t you love the colorful skewers? Those were a gift from Deloris for some recent occasion.)
This cake stand made me smile. Then it made me buy it at the store and bring it home with me. What can I say?
I bought the CUTEST cocktail napkins at the gift shop for the Girls Gone Wine winery. I couldn’t decide which to use, so I collated the five piles and arranged them on a tray. You might be amazed at how many chose the one with the 50s style photo of a chick staring the camera down and saying “Do I look like I give a rat’s ass?” Oh, my!
You can probably tell without my saying that this is a mother-daughter duo. Melodie brought her Mini Me, daughter Jennifer, to enjoy the evening with us.
I’ve been taking Thai cooking lessons from my friend Sue, who owns a Thai restaurant, for five months. When she heard I was having a party and doing little tastes, she told me to send Michael buy to pick up Thai-style wontons with sweet chili sauce. Yum.
I used my sister Cynthia’s pea salad recipe, with a tweak or two of my own. (I’ll post it and give you the link later.) Its dressing is half Ranch, half mayo. It has fresh English peas, celery, cauliflower, cheddar cheese, red onion, and the surprise ingredient — whole salted cashews. It’s a great combination.
I look at this picture and think “Why isn’t anyone eating yet?!?!”
Suzanne brought her son Connor with his new Harry Potter glasses. He knew I would be cooking something he would like!
Samonia, on the far right, is set to marry on 11/11/11. How cool is that?
These are Marvelous Mushrooms. My Aunt Hazle’s recipe is so easy and cheesy, sausage stuffed fungus is a hit every time. I love the fact that they are broiled, rather than baked, so they’re cooked in less than 5 minutes.
The Crazy Crunchy Black Bean Salad is made with black soybeans, because they are lower in carbs. It’s so colorful and full of flavor.
These are the “Now You See ‘Em” appetizers. I could eat the entire plateful. But I won’t. My mission this summer is to have some sugar-free jalapeno jelly made — or to make it myself, although I do not aspire to be a jelly maker or a canner. Been there. Hated that. Would like to pay someone else to do it who actually enjoys it. Pssst. These are made with crackers that I make from low carb tortillas!
Gotta have vegetables! I made grilled asparagus and wrapped a few spears in prosciutto.
Sue surprised me by sending along a second hors d’oeuvre. These were chicken curry puffs with Thai cucumber salad.
I intended to make fruit kabobs, but my friend Bob, who was helping in the kitchen (this was on a workday night, you know) simply put one chunk of fruit on each skewer. I thought about changing that, but decided this would allow people to choose precisely the type of fruit they wanted, rather than getting a “variety pack.”
I whipped up a twist on Strawberry Fluff. I mixed ready-made sugar-free vanilla pudding with homemade sugar-free whipped cream and squirted that into the bottom. Then I whirred fresh strawberries, a little Splenda, and some whipped cream in the food processor for the second layer. I topped them with whipped cream, fresh mint, and a slice of strawberry.
Here is a behind-the-scenes look at the picture-taking fun!